When it comes to severe anxiety, the chances of you only having anxiety is pretty slim. There are quite a few secondary conditions that come along with having anxiety that are just as (not)
fun as anxiety itself! Some of these secondary conditions tend to go on while you're not actually experiencing your anxiety, and are more of a side effect from the anxiety itself. You can have these things independently from anxiety of course, but for now we are going to talk about them as a secondary condition. The side dishes to the main meal.
The Big Three
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
These are the three most common secondary conditions you are likely to encounter while dealing with anxiety. The goal for this journal is to share experiences, knowledge, troubles, and success when it comes to dealing with the after effects of anxiety
DepressionDepression is often caused by living a less than fulfilling life, being restricted by your anxiety can cause you to hide away. Not having the job you want, the life you want, the friends you want. It can become tiring, and feel hopeless when everything you do is focused around avoiding anxiety. It makes me feel weak not being able to deal with my anxiety, I feel ashamed and embarrassed of it. I consider everyday a new failure, and depression is a constant in my life because of it. I won't be able to kick it until I have managed my anxiety.
ParanoiaWhen it comes to social anxiety, paranoia is it's best friend. The feeling of constantly being watched, judged and whispered about. It's the starting point of many a panic attack in my experiences. It's kept me from leaving my house for weeks at a time, and has caused me to pass on countless positive opportunities. This ones a bitch to shake, but ultimately boils down to three things for me: a) confidence, b) "fuck it" and c) fake confidence. I found something to be confident about: my art. I then developed a very strong "fuck it" attitude, I simply can't be bothered to be paranoid anymore. And finally I just started pretending like I was the coolest shit ever. Which is easy to do after all, I mean I must have a pretty huge ego if I go around assuming the world is watching/talking about me.
OCDI've also had very slight stints of OCD. Obsessively counting, scratching and picking at my skin and hair, other odd small things I felt compelled to do; though I never had to deal with it on a large scale. I am not sure where it came from, or why it went away. It was just there, and then kinda just...left.
I have a few pieces of advice to share. They are short, sweet and to the point:Fake it till you make it. Fake like you know what you are doing, and eventually you will actually know. Keep in mind, I don't mean fake being happy, or lie about any issues. That's a big no no!
Laugh at yourself. Accept yourself. Don't take yourself seriously. Acknowledge your neurotic nature for what it is: silliness. Laugh at it, then love it. You are your own worst enemy, learn to love thy enemy.
Admit it. When I do something off, or odd, or start to freak out in front of people I just straight up say "I have intense anxiety. My brain is basically melting right now". People do one of three things 1) Laugh (with me) 2) Give sympathy/compassion 3) Don't care. At all. People are busy with their own lives, there own issues. They aren't going to talk about you or judge you, they aren't even going to remember you.
- Have you had to deal with any of these, or other secondary conditions?
- If so, do they come from your anxiety or are they the cause of your anxiety?
- What do/did you do to cope?
- Do you have any advice to give?